“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)
There are many Bible passages that speak of animals, but none of them ever speak of any animal having the image or likeness of God. On the other hand, there are many references that insist that God intended for man to “take over” God’s creation and function as the steward of Earth in God’s place.
Please notice the authority. Man was to “have dominion” over all other life, to “fill” Earth, and “subdue” the planet. All authority is delegated authority—God the Creator is still the Owner. If we are to understand the uniqueness of human life, we must first grasp the significance of this authority.
For thou hast made [man] a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. (Psalm 8:5-8)
God’s authority is the basis for action (Matthew 28:18-19; Daniel 7:14). His Word is still the source of ultimate truth (John 14:6; 17:17). His steward (man) is still responsible to the Creator (Isaiah 45:18-22). As we “uncover” the processes of Earth, we are to exercise the delegated authority to “rule” so that we can “fill” the planet that the Creator has designed—“to the praise of the glory of his grace” (Ephesians 1:6). HMM III
Adapted from Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis by Dr. Henry Morris III.